What is Negligence?

Negligence is when a person does something, or fails to do something, that falls below or breaches his or her legal duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.  Most personal injury and similar tort cases are based on a claim that one person’s negligence has legally caused another’s injury or damages.

A negligence claim has four required elements that an injured party must prove:

  • A duty of care exists between the injured person and the negligent person, requiring the negligent person to act with reasonable care to prevent another’s injuries;
  • A breach of the duty of due care owed by the negligent person to the injured person, usually caused by the negligent person failing to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm;
  • The breach of the duty of due care by the negligent person is a close and substantial factor in causing (a proximate cause of) injury or damages to the injured person; and
  • An injury or damages caused by the breach of duty.  The injury may be physical, mental, emotional, or financial.

Every person is responsible for acting with reasonable care to prevent injuries to others. Such a duty of reasonable care may include coming to a complete stop at a red traffic light or shoveling a sidewalk after it snows.  If you have been injured by the carelessness of another, please contact Wilka & Welter, LLP.  We have the experience to help you.